GRUBNIC SAYS JOLIET ALWAYS A RISKY PROPOSITION

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Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 dragster, holds the track record for speed at Route 66 Raceway, 333.58 mph, the site of this weekend's 10th annual Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals. He and his team are hoping to capitalize on the momentum they built with a semifinal showing in Topeka, his third semifinal of 2007.

"Racing in Joliet is great and nerve wracking at the same time," Grubnic, a 44-year-old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "The track is so good you can't wait to get out there and see what you can do, but everyone else is champing at the bit to get out there, too. We always see some incredible runs there from all the cars, so you know that you have to make no mistakes or you'll be in trouble. The level of competition is amplified even more in Joliet."

In early 2004, Grubnic was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports. Since joining Team Kalitta, Grubnic has posted consecutive top-five championship points finishes. In the fall of 2004, he won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt. His only other event victory came at the 2006 running of the famed Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

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